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Service Measurement & Reporting Across the ITIL Service Lifecycle

ITSMWatch guest columnist Gary Case of Pink Elephant, who literally wrote the ITIL v3 book on Continual Service Improvement, shares his insights on service measurement and reporting.
Jan 13, 2011
By

Gary Case





Service measurement and service reporting are small processes that are invoked by many other IT service management (ITSM) processes. They are necessary for the execution of other processes, and are executed by those processes throughout the service lifecycle. As necessary components of services, service measurement and service reporting are developed along with the services.

This paper highlights the necessary service measurement and reporting development activities across the service lifecycle.

The objective of service measurement is to identify and collect information that identifies and quantifies service value-add and contribution to organization goals as well as indicators of service risks, issues, and improvement opportunities enabling informed governance and planned action.

The objective of service reporting is to analyze and deliver service measurement information to stakeholders, governors, and decision makers in a form than enables action.

Service Strategy

Overarching organizational and service-specific measurement and reporting requirements and policies are defined in the Service Strategy phase. The definition of policies as formal policies, standards or guidelines is usually made at the organizational level. Here the lower case term policy includes all three as organizationally applied.

Organizational service measurement policies are defined in Service Strategy for use as services are defined, designed, developed, deployed, operated, and retired. The service measurement policies are subject to regulatory and broader organizational data collection and access controls.

In Service Strategy, service measurement policies should be established for:

-- How and from what sources measurement data should be captured, stored and processed for use in reports in compliance with the organization’s information quality and sensitivity standards. -- Standards for tools to be used to capture, store and process Service Measurement data. -- Service Strategy should create a policy around how to show value from service reporting whether it is for services or processes (from strategies to measures concept).

The specific service reporting policies are driven by organizational values and culture. As with service measurement, service reporting policies are subject to regulatory and organizational access controls.

Service reporting policies should include:

  • Standard formats shall be used for dashboards, scorecards, reports, logs, etc.
  • Reports shall include all agreed goals, critical success factors, key performance indicators (KPI) for each service at a level of granularity appropriate for the target audience.
  • Standard tools, data architectures and patterns, and consistent techniques shall be used for collecting, storing, processing, analyzing service measurement data and executing service reporting.
  • To the extent possible, reports shall be transparent and available across management layers and departments (business, senior IT leadership, mid level managers, front line managers, process owners, process managers, relationship managers, service managers, service suppliers, customers, technical performers, etc.).
  • Those authorized to act on report contents shall be well enough informed by the report to make strategic, tactical, and/or operational decisions.

Service Design

Execute the following activities for service measurement and Service Reporting as standard processes and as processes supporting IT services in design.

For service measurement and service reporting as standard processes:

  • Design standard measure patterns and a service measurement data architecture to achieve the organizational service measurement objectives.
  • Design standard report patterns and a service reporting data architecture and analysis and report generation procedures to achieve the organizational service reporting objectives.
  • Design service measurement and service reporting awareness programs, and controls and governance mechanisms.
  • Design the procedure for modifying, adding, or deleting measurements and reports.

Define roles and responsibilities to govern and manage the execution of service measurement and service reporting including a service analyst role. The service analyst is responsible for analyzing service information for trends, changes, and anomalies to provide insight and foresight for service operations and continual service improvement.

For service measurement and service reporting as processes supporting services being designed:

  • In concert with service level management (SLM) requirements for services being designed, design measures and the service-specific service measurement data architectures, and processing procedures using standard patterns to achieve the service objectives.
  • Evaluate service CSFs, KPIs, for “what should be measured” and “what can be measured” adjusting or (re)negotiating requirements and/or expectations as necessary.
  • In concert with SLM requirements for services being designed, design reports, scorecards, dashboards, and other information formats; and analysis and report generation procedures using standard patterns to achieve the service objectives.
  • Establish access control levels for reports based on organization information sensitivity standards.
  • Map service measurement and reporting requirements to standard tool capabilities for capturing, processing, and analyzing data, and presenting (reporting) the data/information.
  • Identify capability gaps and propose design solution(s) for gap closure.
  • Design the service-specific data capture and reporting capabilities to be included in the SDP.
  • Update the Service Catalog as appropriate.
  • Define roles and responsibilities to govern and manage the execution of service measurement and service reporting including a service analyst role. The service analyst is responsible for analyzing service information for trends, changes, and anomalies to provide insight and foresight for service operations and continual service improvement

Service Transition

Execute the following activities for service measurement and service reporting as standard processes and as processes supporting IT services being transitioned to production.

For service measurement and service reporting as standard processes:

  • Publish service measurement and service reporting standards.
  • Establish service measurement and service reporting controls and governance.
  • Conduct service measurement and service reporting awareness campaigns for service designers, providers and customers.

For service measurement and service reporting as processes supporting services transitioned to Production:

  • Build, test, and deploy measurement data collection, storage, processing, analysis and reporting as designed to satisfy requirements.
  • Provide early life support during and after the transition. This would also include how to request a report or changes to a report.
  • Deploy measurement and reporting change request and incident reporting procedures.
  • Update the Service Catalog as appropriate.

Service Operation

Execute the following activities for service measurement and service reporting as processes supporting production IT services:

  • Perform service measurement procedures and service reporting procedures as designed to provide agreed reports to service stakeholders to assess, diagnose, services as designed and specified in the service measurement and reporting requirements.
  • Assess the effectiveness of service measurement and service reporting for SLM, supplier management and other processes and functions identifying opportunities for improvement. Log these opportunities for use in continual service improvement.

Continual Service Improvement

Execute the following activities for service measurement and service reporting as standard processes and as processes supporting IT services being transitioned to production.

For service measurement and service reporting as standard processes:

  • Use Incidents, Problems, Service Requests, and logged effectiveness gaps to identify organizational service measurement and Service Reporting improvement opportunities.
  • Propose improvements as quick wins, and service improvement programs and submit as requests for change.
  • Track and promote the progress of service measurement and service reporting improvement requests.

For service measurement and service reporting as processes supporting undergoing seven step improvement process activities:

  • Use feedback from the service owner and other Incidents, Problems, Service Requests, and logged effectiveness gaps to identify service measurement and service reporting improvement opportunities for a service.
  • Propose service-specific improvements as quick wins, and service improvement programs to service owner for submission as requests for change.

Gary Case is the co-author of ITIL v3’s Continual Service Improvement core volume, and is an IT professional with more than 30 years of experience. As a principal consultant and ITIL Expert, currently the highest ITIL v3 certification, Gary specializes in providing strategic process consulting, business alignment, project management, and training to IT professionals across all industries. He also presents ITSM and ITIL-related sessions to audiences at major events worldwide. Gary joined Pink Elephant after successfully running his own consulting and training company, and serving as the director of Training for Help Desk Institute (HDI).

Tags:
ITIL, ITIL v3, IT service management



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